Vegan Sources of Vitamins & Minerals

For those who are considering adopting a vegan diet, one of the most common concerns is whether a diet that includes only plant foods can be nutritionally adequate. Considering the position that animal-based foods have in the standard Western diet, this is hardly surprising. However, there is increasing evidence that suggests that not only is a whole-food vegan diet nutritionally adequate, but that eliminating animal-based foods can actually reduce one’s risk of disease and encourage overall physical health and well-being.

As I explained in my series Vegan 1-2-3:

“In 2009, the American Dietetic Association, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, released a paper explaining their position on vegetarian diets, including vegan diets.

‘It is the position of the ADA that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence, and for athletes.’”

For those who are concerned about obtaining adequate amounts of specific nutrients, it’s useful to know which foods contain what. Not surprisingly, green leafies are some of the stars in this show, adding even more evidence to the case for a daily green smoothie regimen.

NB: Contrary to popular belief, veganism is much more than a diet. It is the practice of non-violence in one’s daily life… For more information about the ethical values embodied in the vegan ideal, please read:
The Vegan Evolution: A New Era for Humanity

Image: Suat Eman /

broccoli, green leafy vegetables (such as kale, bok choy, collard and turnip greens), tofu, blackstrap molasses, chickpeas, many beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, flax seeds, brazil nuts, dried figs, dried fruit.

green leafy vegetables & sea vegetables, legumes/beans, nuts & seeds, blackstrap molasses, dried fruits, watermelon, prune juice, spinach, cereals, whole grains.

brown rice, cooked spinach, beans/legumes, almonds/nuts, dried figs, broccoli, cooked oatmeal, wheat germ/bran, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, bananas, peanuts.

pinto beans, cereal grains, almonds, nuts, dried beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, brown rice, avocados, spinach, many vegetables, yeast.

raisins, bananas, raw and cooked spinach, potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, winter squash, raw cauliflower, avocados, kiwifruit, dried fruits, tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, dried apricots.

pumpkin seeds, whole grains/cereals, legumes, lentils, peas, soy foods, nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, yeast, garbanzo beans, raw collard greens, spinach, corn.

brazil nuts, whole grains, kidney beans (depending on the soil they are grown in), yeast.

brown rice & whole grains, cereals, cooked oatmeal, wheat germ, nuts, seeds, legumes, cooked spinach & kale, black beans, almonds, avocados, pineapples, strawberries.

beans, breads, cereals, cooked spinach, strawberries.

Pantothenic Acid
whole grain cereals, legumes, mushrooms, peanuts, soybeans, avocados, sunflower seeds, bananas, oranges, cooked collard greens, baked potato, broccoli.

whole grains, nuts, broccoli, apples, peanuts, cooked spinach, mushrooms.

cereals & whole grains, breads, yeast, almonds, peanuts, molasses, legumes.

nuts and seeds, whole grains, dried beans, mushrooms.

Folic Acid
legumes, lentils, oranges, whole grains, asparagus, spinach, romaine lettuce.

iodine-rich sea vegetables, kelp, vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil.

Vitamin A
carrots, winter squashes (acorn and butternut), sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, red bell peppers and other greens.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
brown rice & whole grains, bread, pasta, oatmeal, brewers and nutritional yeast, legumes, cereals, sunflower seeds, nuts, watermelon, raw wheat germ.

yeast, beans, cereals, whole grains, spinach, broccoli, wheat germ, mushrooms.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
legumes, brown rice, green vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli.

Vitamin B6
whole grains, peanuts, nuts/legumes, soybeans, walnuts, bananas, watermelon

Vitamin C
bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges/orange juice, grapefruit, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, turnip greens, spinach, potatoes, melon, berries, papayas, romaine lettuce, watercress.

Vitamin D
The most significant supply of Vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure on the skin. Vitamin D-2 supplements are available, as well as Vitamin D fortified plant milks & cereals. Fortified vegan products contain Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol) as opposed to animal-derived Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol).

Vitamin E
safflower/vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, raw wheat germ, nuts, peanuts, green leafy vegetables, whole wheat flour, whole grains, spinach.

Vitamin K
green leafy vegetables, spinach, turnip greens, kale, parsley, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, soybeans and soybean oil, cabbage, green tea, tomatoes.

Vitamin B12
Red Star ‘Vegetarian Support Formula’ Nutritional Yeast
, B-12 fortified non-dairy milks and cereals. Vegan B-12 supplements: VegLife (certified vegan) B-12 supplement, Twin Labs ‘Vegetarian Formula’ B-12 Sublingual Dots, etc.

This information has been reproduced from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm by Gentle World, which includes over 500 recipes and all sorts of tips to help make the transition to veganism easy and delicious.

Gentle World is a non-profit educational organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. Visit for more information.

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Jo S.
Jo S.1 months ago

Thank you.

Wendye Kolles
Wendye Kolles2 years ago

Thanks very much.

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago


Shalvah Landy
Past Member 3 years ago

Vitamin B12 was the last on the list and it is NOT found in any natural vegetation BUT it is ESSENTIAL for your body so if you don't eat animal products you must take it 'artificially'!

Melinda K.
Past Member 3 years ago

This is a great list for anyone, not just vegans. This kind of thing should be taught in school each year.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

good to know

Selective Clothears

Thanks for sharing.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Trudy Killa
Trudy Killa3 years ago

Thanks for the information. Am researching veganism before starting. My daughter already is. I decided that this was important for health but I also viewed a video on factory farming through both Care 2 & SPCA & it did horrify me & make me ill. It made me make up my mind. Like Elvira- I did not know that Vit D3 was animal based. I take 5,000iu for MS. Same with Vit B-12. Will have to look for the plant based ones.